burning inside!

Industrial pioneers Ministry are back in the Northwest to promote a new album and ring some ears.

I have been mapping the shows coming to the Pacific Northwest this year and I have named this particular week 80’s week.  3 metal shows with bands that got popular in the 80s are coming in for a few shows and I am pretty stoked for all of them.  Ministry, then Skid Row and the next night after that is Prong with Voi Vod  All of them are different genres of metal and they will be on!

Tonight at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver we have a SOLD OUT show, with headliners Ministry and support from other popular 80’s acts, Front Line Assembly and Gary Numan.  It’s a pretty good spread of electro-Industrial/new wave, with the metal edged industrial with Ministry.

Al Jourgensen

The band is made up of founding leader and vocalist (the only one left) Al Jourgensen, who looks vastly different on this tour with no dreads, but straight hair and hardly any piercings.  John Bechdel (Keyboards), Monte Pittman (guitar), Cesar Soto (guitar), Paul D’Amour (bass) and Roy Mayorga (Drums) round out the rest of the band.

Ministry was founded back in 1980 but didn’t really get popular until the late 80s when the album The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste was released.   They have 16 albums in the discography and just released a new album last week on March 1 2024 called Hopiumforthemasses (Nuclear Blast)

John Bechdel

IF you haven’t heard the new album, you will get a good dose of it at this tour because for the first 5 songs they waste no time at all in sharing them.    At 9:30pm Al and company are starting with “B.D.E.”, (Big Dick Energy) which is a song that takes aim at incels and toxic misogyny when Leni Von Eckardt (aka Leni Badpenny) in a tight 1 piece shiny suit contributes on the mic with the female parts.  She is married to Author and Investigative Journalist Greg Palast.  Al has been working with both of them on upcoming projects.

Leni Badpenny

Then on to “Just Stop Oil” which is more industrial tinged, with a self explanatory topic.   Song 3 with a faster one with “Goddam White Trash” and song 4 with “Aryan Embarrassment” that focus on some of the bottom barrels of humanity.    No soft topics here, and the driving guitars and samples are front and center as you would expect.   The audience is enjoying the new material but you can feel the excitement building as to when the old stuff appears.

Roy Mayorga

There is some interesting lighting all over the place with Al’s traditional cyberpunk looking cross in the center of the stage. Visual images and video were projecting from the upper deck of scenes of war etc and anything topical of the songs in the background.  The sound is fantastic as you must figure with these 3 bands tonight, the gear looks top notch in the sound booth, so I’d expect nothing less with industrial music.

Ministry is getting us caught up with the last album too Moral Hygiene (2021, Nuclearblast) as song 6 with “Alert Level” and song 7 with “Broken System”.

Paul D’Amour

So here we are, mid-drift of the show and no old stuff yet.   It’s been a patient crowd especially if you are a fan of anything from the 80’s.  Al remarks “now that you’ve all been patient to get the new ones out, now you get a treat”.  The dance floor really picks up now with “N.W.O” (New World Order) from the Psalm 69 album (1989) and thereafter with “Just One Fix” which was a lightening rod for the fans.

Another Ministry classic was next with “Stigmata” from the Land of Rape and Honey album (1988).  Did you know there was a Canadian Connection to that album name?  At the time, they spotted a coffee mug with that moniker on it.   This was on a large sign outside of the town of Tisdale Saskatchewan that said “Tisdale – The Land of Rape and Honey” (Rape as in Rape seed or Mustard or nowadays known as Canola).   I used to see that sign a lot as my relatives all lived in that area.  Needless to say it got taken down as times have changed.

Cesar Soto

The show just keeps getting even better with “Thieves” and one of Ministry’s more bizarre songs with “Jesus Built My Hotrod”.  Thereafter Al says thanks for coming, see you next time, but we all know that’s bullshit.

What’s really fantastic here is the encore with “Burning Inside”.  I looked in Setlist.Fm and there is no evidence that this song has ever been played in Vancouver.  What a treat!  Then “So What” thereafter, was just about orgasmic as I was addicted to this band back in the late 80’s.

Monte Pittman

Thereafter, they go offstage and scads of people headed for the coat check, but not so fast!  Ministry come back out again with a cover by the band Magazine called “The Light Pours Out of Me” which they did on Animositisomina way back in 2003 (Sanctuary Records).

This was one helluva show.   Ok, so we got a good sample from the new album and the last as well as some deeper cuts that made this band where it is today.  I think we all got what we all hoped, and Ministry certainly delivered the goods on this tour.  Many left the building looking like they were dragged behind a horse and extremely satisfied.   Me included.  Buy the ticket!

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